The Cure for Cancer! (Cure Not Included)

The other day, I received a jaw-dropping piece of spam e-mail:

The Detox Box

The Detox Box is a remarkable device that uses frequencies to destroy toxins in the body. It’s similar to how a singer can hit a note and shatter a wine glass.

According to the e-mail, this marvelous machine is based on the ideas of one Dr. Royal Rife, who lived in the 1930s and claimed to have developed the world’s first “virus microscope”. (It is physically impossible to resolve the average virus with a light microscope, since the size of a typical virus is smaller than the wavelength of visible light. This gives the reader a good idea of the quality of evidence supporting Rife’s claims.) Rife then went on to invent a “beam ray” device which, he said, could cure cancer and other diseases using the principles outlined below.

Rife was able to observe the frequency at which viruses and bacteria vibrated… When increasing the intensity of the frequency at which they vibrated, its natural oscillation also increases, causing it to disintegrate from the structural stresses and break just like the wine glass did. Rife named this intensified frequency the mortal oscillatory rate, or “MOR”. He discovered that every microorganism has its own frequency and can be destroyed by intensifying this frequency until it explodes. Rife invented a frequency machine (now known as a Rife machine), the forerunner of today’s “Detox Box” instrument.

As is usual for pseudoscience, the companion website gives a large number of unsubstantiated, anecdotal testimonials and is generously larded with fear-mongering “facts” about how modern medicine is poisoning us all. Thankfully, the “Detox Box” can purge one’s body of these toxins. (Any substance or organism that causes people harm is lumped together under the heading of “toxins”, which is also standard practice for alternative medicine.) Apparently, all one needs to do to use this treatment is to hold two stainless steel cylinders (shades of Scientology’s E-meter) or apply electrode pads to the skin to let the healing frequencies flow through the body.

Also as usual, the principles being advocated have only a superficial resemblance to actual science. First of all, some of the “toxins” the website lists are arsenic and lead. How is the “Detox Box” supposed to help with this? Arsenic and lead are atomic elements. They are not compounds that can be “shattered” by any kind of destructive resonance, unless this product is claiming to produce nuclear fission inside the body, in which case the user has bigger problems.

And though it scarcely needs saying, viruses and bacteria are not wine glasses. Resonance of the type that shatters glass can only occur in a uniform substance with nothing to damp out vibrations, so that every part of the object vibrates at the same frequency and there is nothing to absorb or cushion the vibrational energy. This will not happen with a bacterium, or any other complex object with many different component parts. And even this effect only occurs with sound waves, not electromagnetic energy as this quack device provides.

So, how much are the proprietors asking for this dubious panacea?

The professional price is $1495, which is a $500 savings off the regular price of $1995.

That was where this e-mail ceased to be amusing. Taking advantage of the sick and the desperate by selling quack machines at outrageous prices is no longer a harmless deception, it is an act of evil. People have died after forsaking evidence-based medicine in favor of Rife machines to treat cancer and other lethal illnesses. The attorneys general of several states have won injunctions against operators of these machines for making fraudulent claims about their efficacy.

Although I don’t anticipate swift results, I’m going to bring this site to the attention of the FDA. If experience is any guide, it’s likely that it will fold on its own before any action is taken. I only hope that no one else is hurt or dies needlessly before that happens.

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Julie Stone

    I saw your blog and wanted to mention that I have been using the Detox Box for over 3 years. I suffered from headaches and had trouble falling asleep and tried just about everything.
    Using the Detox Box I was able to reduce the amount of headaches within only a few weeks. Occasionally I still will get a headache, but find running on the the headache codes usually knocks it out within minutes. My husband, sister and several other friends use my machine, for muscle pain, allergies and all have had great results.

    I can understand you may think that this type of device doesn’t work. But my disappointment with your article is that you are throwing this machine under the bus when it appears you have not personally used it and know little about it, other then receiving an email. How unfortunate you will knock down a product that you know little or nothing about. I think before you knock on something you haven’t tried you should spend your time talking about stuff you have actually tried.

    Julie Stone
    http://www.2detoxify.com user

  • Andy Cornelius

    I saw your blog and wanted to mention that I have been using the Detox Box for over 3 years. I suffered from headaches and had trouble falling asleep and tried just about everything.

    This is exactly the kind of anecdotal testimonial that Ebonmuse was referring to. In the absence of evidence (in the form of properly controlled, randomised trials, with sufficient replication and so on and so forth), what reason do we have to think that such a device does anything? Personal testimonials could be dismissively explained away by the Placebo effect, without evidence that the “treatment” can beat the control in a proper trial.

    Ebonmuse really hits the nail on the head with resonance – Many forms of snake oil just don’t make sense at the level of physics or chemistry, let alone biology and medicine! In order for many of these cures to work in the way their proponents claim, much of science would have to be incorrect, right down to the experimental evidence gathered over the centuries.

    It’s a shame that snake oil salesmen just aren’t held to the same standards as proper doctors – the big pharmaceutical companies may want to twist trials in their favour, but they can’t start selling pills without some kind of testing. If that was the case, I expect that we would see far fewer of these “alternate medicines”.

  • Steve

    A key element of many psuedo-scientific miracle cures is the vague symptoms that they claim to cure. Headaches, back pain, allergies, etc. can oftentimes be caused by stress, fear and anxiety and are many times easily “cured” by the placebo effect alone. The first commentor would probably have noticed similarly effective results had she taken a homeopathic remedy, received accupunture, or gone to a chiropractor. This only speaks to the effects that reducing stress, anxiety or fear have on the body, and not at all to the validity of such stupid psuedo-scientific ideas.

    Another element is claiming extraordinary cures for serious illnesses without a known cure, such as cancer or AIDS. It is not usually immediately apparant whether a given cure is working for diseases of this nature; oftentimes, it takes months or years of careful observation to understand whether or not progress is being made. Thus, it is easy to make a person believe that they are being cured when, in truth, they are not.

    I’ve also noticed a quality in people who tend to fall for psuedo-scientific cures like this: they have a strong desire for other people to fall for it as well. I’m sure this is a function of the human desire for confirmation of the validity of a claim by nature of the amount of other people that beleive it. It is unfortunate, though, because no matter how poor their arguments are (and make no mistake, they are very poor), there is never a shortage of gullible people to fall for it at the risk of their financial and physical health.

  • Thumpalumpacus

    Julie –

    I would suggest that the placebo effect may well be the reason for your improvement, especially considering the substantial financial investment you must’ve made

  • lpetrich

    First, let me set the record straight about resonance — an object does *not* have to have a homogeneous composition in order ot have well-defined resonant frequencies. What it does have to be is to be weakly coupled to the objects in its environment, and also with low internal dissipation. A wine glass on a table satisfies both conditions, because it is only weakly coupled to that table and to the air around it. However, different parts of that glass are relatively strongly coupled to each other, because their coupling’s strength is the internal strength of the glass itself; that makes it more difficult to identify resonances of parts of that glass.

    YouTube has a lot of videos of glasses being shattered by sound, like this slow-motion one; you can see it oscillating before it breaks. It was likely illuminated with a stroboscopic light at close to the sound frequency used, so as to make its oscillations more apparent.

    How well-defined is dependent on the energy leak rate, which causes the resonance to exponentially decay — it has a half-life. The resonance gets a width that is approximately that decay rate; greater leakage means a broader and weaker resonance.

    How does that apply to bacteria and viruses in the body? They are surrounded by an environment that is not much different from them, and they have a variety of sizes, meaning that it is difficult to catch them with a resonant frequency. Futhermore, many organelles and other cell parts have similar ranges of size, so they would also be vulnerable.

    And the frequencies needed? The resonance wavelength is about the size of the object, and the frequency is (object’s sound velocity) / (wavelength).

    The sound velocity in water is about 1.5 km/s, so a 1-micron object would require sound with a frequency of 1.5 gigahertz (!) So one would have to use concentrated radio waves, and these would have a wavelength of about 20 cm, meaning that you could not focus them very well.

  • Stephen

    For comparison, consider the treatment of using sound waves to break up kidney stones. This is possible because kidney stones are sufficiently distinct from the surrounding tissue. However they are not so very distinct, and as a result the treatment is very painful (albeit not as painful as actually passing the stone). I have recently been assured of this by someone who is taking the treatment.

    Bacteria and viruses are sufficiently similar to surrounding tissue that any similar treatment that would destroy them would also cause significant damage to the surrounding tissue, with side-effects similar to (or even greater than) those from chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer.

    Julie: I’m delighted that you have got rid of your headaches. But if the machine operates in the way the manufacturer says, the likelihood that it has done anything to help is about the same as the likelihood of the apples in your house falling upwards. Are you going to claim that since I haven’t visited your house I can’t possibly know whether the apples in it fall upwards?

  • stillwaters

    @ Julie,

    Anecdotal evidence is not scientific evidence.

    Your testimony sounds an awful lot like preaching to the unbelievers. We’ve heard it all before.

    @ Ebonmuse,

    I hate to advise another person rather than doing it myself, but I would suggest a referral to the Federal Trade Commission as well.

  • Pi Guy

    I call BS.

    Ditto on the EM/ultrasound error that EbonMoose points out in the post, lpetrich‘s calculations(I didn’t doubt you – it was just fun to confirm the numbers!), and Stephen’s ‘apples falling up’ analogy.

    Julie:
    I’m glad that you’re feeling better but I recommend that you consider the possibility that you’re experiencing the Placebo Effect.

  • http://grimrhapsody.wordpress.com Dawn Rhapsody

    This Rife machine sounds like it supplies “cheat codes” for life, judging by Julie’s insightful testimonial story. Just switch the machine on and switch to “headache codes” to send them away.

    This is outrageous, and what it claims is impossible.

  • http://nesoo.wordpress.com/ Nes

    Hmm, that comment has been up for hours and Bronze Dog hasn’t been by to mention his doggerel? Maybe he doesn’t read this blog. Anyway, I definitely spot #46 and #70.

    And no, Julie, we aren’t being closed-minded, we’re just asking for more evidence than some testimony. As the old saying goes, the plural of “anecdote” is not “data.” They can be a start, certainly, but with something like this that could easily be tested, it should be tested (properly controlled, blinded, etc.). Just think of the hard evidence that could be waved in doubters’ faces if it passed several well-designed trials…

    Thanks for this, Ebon. I was going to comment on the site itself, but I think I’ll just blog about it instead… if I can keep myself away from that game tomorrow…

    Hey, wait a sec… why are you opening spam?!

  • http://rockstarramblings.blogspot.com/ Bronze Dog

    Didn’t notice the post until I checked my traffic. Not one of my usual stops, but like many other worthy blogs, it probably should be. It’s a bit hard to surf multiple places since I’m currently in a rage that makes it hard to see straight. (Please help me cool off with some humor)

    Other noteworthy doggerels: #41, possible #55.

  • Julie Stone

    what a tough group. The Detox Box works for me and I wouldn’t go without it. It is my personal results. I don’t need a double blind study to know that it works. If you are not open to it that’s fine… but don’t knock what works for me.

    Do you really think when you someone has a headache they have an aspirin deficiency?? That is what Advil says in there commercials. “I have a headache this big… and it has Advil written all over it”

    You can have a headache because of vertebral misalignment, parasites, bacterial presence, stiff muscles etc…

    get rid of what is causing the headaches and they will go away. Again if you haven’t tried it don’t knock it. When you try it and it doesn’t work for you, knock the heck out of it.

    And by the way, my Doctor sold me the machine. And here are some videos you can watch http://www.rifevideos.com/

    Julie Stone
    http://www.2detoxify.com user

  • http://thegreenbelt.blogspot.com The Ridger

    A “2detoxify.com” user is the first person to comment? Sounds like she has a job cruising the internet looking for debunkers to attack.

  • ex machina

    Yep, pretty clear case of someone very closely connected to the company trying to do a little promo. Real testimonials don’t look like that.

    What’s sad is that people really think it’s not obvious that they are essentially spamming.

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org/ Ebonmuse

    Hello Julie,

    As other commenters have pointed out, your positive experience with the “Detox Box” is almost certainly due to the placebo effect. You feel better after using it because you expect to feel better after using it. This is a well-known medical phenomenon, and against minor disorders like headaches and allergies, it is often quite effective. On the other hand, some diseases (like cancer) are not as susceptible to the placebo effect, and as I pointed out in my post, people who’ve trusted Rife machines to cure them of those deadly ailments have paid with their lives.

    How unfortunate you will knock down a product that you know little or nothing about.

    I know plenty about it, if you ask me. I know that its inventor was a notorious quack who claimed to invent other devices that are physically impossible (see my comments about Rife’s “virus microscope”). I know that the principles by which this device are claimed to work are flatly contradicted by much of what we know about both human physiology and basic principles of physics. And finally, I know that this device’s promoters display several classic signs of the pseudoscientist – most notable of which is the claim that virtually all disease and illness has a common origin and treatment.

    Here’s an example of what I’m talking about. You praised the “Detox Box” for curing you of persistent headaches. But how do you suppose it did that? Its stated mechanism of action is sending electromagnetic waves through your body that cause viruses and bacteria to resonate until they burst. I’ve already explained why this is implausible, but leave that aside for the moment. Even if we assume for the sake of argument that this hypothesis is correct, how does this cure a headache? Headaches are not caused by infection (unless you have meningitis or encephalitis, but I doubt that either of those is your complaint). Headaches are usually caused by muscle tension, changes in blood pressure, neurotransmitter imbalances, dehydration or low blood sugar. In none of these cases is there a foreign agent to eliminate. How could this device possibly help with any of those problems?

    I don’t need a double blind study to know that it works.

    Actually, yes, you do. We all do. The whole reason we do double-blind studies is that human beings are very, very good at fooling themselves. When we expect something to work, we often find that it does. When we expect something to fail, we often find that as well. The only way to rule out human bias and error is through a carefully controlled study where no one, neither the patients receiving the treatment nor the doctors administering it, know who’s getting the real thing and who’s getting an inactive placebo. That way, it’s impossible for anyone’s expectations to bias the result. Only when the experiment is complete is the blinding broken. Then, and only then, we compare who reported feeling better and who got the active treatment. If the two lists match up, then we have good reason to believe that we’ve found an effective treatment. If they don’t, then we know we’ve found one that doesn’t work, no matter how much anyone wants to believe in it.

    The Rife machine’s creators offer no evidence of this quality. Instead, they offer only dubious, anecdotal testimonials, with no effort made to rule out sources of error like the placebo effect or regression to the mean. In short, they’ve given us no good reason to trust them. Combine that with what I’ve already said about the pseudoscientific reasoning backing this device, and we have excellent reason to believe it’s nothing but quackery, whether we’ve personally used it or not.

  • KShep

    I bet James Randi would like to know about this, if he doesn’t already.

    http://www.randi.org/

  • KShep

    And Julie, I can construct a box for you for just $1250, called the Obecalp. It’ll prevent people from taking advantage of you.

    I accept personal checks.

  • stillwaters

    Hey, KShep,

    I’ll take two! Not only do I not want to be taken advantage of, but I’m paranoid to boot!

    Or maybe I should buy one first, and then see if I need another one? :)

    I once had a headache,
    It would not go away.
    A black box I did make,
    And now it’s all okay.

  • Jeff T.

    There is a disclaimer on the 2detoxify.com site that basically admits that Ebon is correct in his post. I tend to always read the disclaimers for dubious claims such as this or the pills that melt away fat as you sleep. This disclaimer obviously will protect the site from any legalities.

    With that said, if this device could work on Thetans and cause them to explode as they swim around inside your body, then maybe you could save a buck or 2… or maybe convert this box into a vibrating errr… nevermind :)

  • http://infidel753.blogspot.com Infidel753

    This is the kind of thing you get when it is accepted as normative to choose beliefs on the basis of wishful thinking without any grasp of how evidence and logic work.

    In a society where millions of people fervently believe that the world is 6,000 years old and that all its problems started when a woman was persuaded to eat a piece of fruit by a talking snake, and it’s considered bad form to point out that this belief is rather silly, we shouldn’t be surprised that the perpetrators of quackery like the Detox Box also find plenty of minds, and wallets, open to their pitch.

    Aside from the other obvious absurdities about this thing, one characteristic of real, science-based medical breakthroughs is that they are rarely announced to the world in the form of spam e-mails.

    If you hear back from the FDA, I hope you’ll post about their response.

  • http://infidel753.blogspot.com Infidel753

    PS Apparently machines based on Rife’s ideas have quite a history in the annals of quackery.

  • Damien

    Good luck, Ebonmuse. Let us know what happens, of course.

    Welcome to the club, Ms. Stone.

  • KShep

    Julie:

    Please forgive my earlier wise-assed response. After thinking some more about this, this statement from you stood out:

    And by the way, my Doctor sold me the machine.

    It concerns me that there are doctors out there selling bogus cures to their patients to the tune of $1495. This doctor, if he has a degree, is surely aware of the placebo effect. If he is deliberately using the placebo effect on his patients, he could just as easily give you some sugar and tell you to mix it with water once a day. But that would be unethical, too.

    $1495 is PT Barnum territory. This guy needs to be reported to his state medical board, pronto.

  • Soitgoes

    I suspect Julie is getting a commission. This seems to be the same scam as the “SCIO” machine.

  • Jim Speiser

    Not to place myself anywhere near the “credulous” camp, as I myself have helped state authorities here in Arizona debunk medical devices and arrest their promoters, BUT…we may be dancing on the precipice of a thorny ethical issue. Suppose this doctor knows this magic box doesn’t really work in the way advertised, but he also has found through his own trials that it does work -somehow-. He perhaps strongly suspects that the placebo effect is the real culprit, but the magic box works in such a way as to…I dunno…”amplify” the placebo effect? In such a case wouldn’t the doctor be ethically bound to promote the magic box anyway? On the grounds that he is ultimately doing his job of curing people? Yes, it’s more likely he’s just a money-sucking quack, but I thought it would be an interesting question anyway.

  • http://nesoo.wordpress.com/ Nes

    Jeff T. says:

    There is a disclaimer on the 2detoxify.com site that basically admits that Ebon is correct in his post.

    Indeed. This is one of the things I was going to point out in my comment until it grew so big that I decided to just blog about it instead.

  • Viv

    I can’t help but notice the slant of negative comments toward Julie. Yes, she was the first to comment, but that does not make her a spammer, nor mean she must be working off commission, here to sell the thing. That is an an assumption, and a biased conclusion. It just means she was first. By pointing at that as your evidence against her, aren’t you failing to consider the alternatives, just as she was?

    It is true, products that play on people’s hopes, health ailments, and naivety are shameful, not back by empirical evidence, or backed with bogus studies that lend false credibility. However, it is equally shameful to attack and ridicule the hopeful who do not know the difference, rather than assist them in gaining the knowledge and insight to see the difference for themselves.

    Oh, and I believe the placebo effect also plays on cognitive dissonance theory as an attitude-behavior inconsistency, which may lead to justifying or rationalizing the purchase, and the private acceptance and belief that it does what it was intended to do. In case anyone is interested.

  • KShep

    JIm:

    He perhaps strongly suspects that the placebo effect is the real culprit, but the magic box works in such a way as to…I dunno…”amplify” the placebo effect?

    Well, then shouldn’t he do a double-blind study to determine if he is correct? Without that, it’s still only anecdotal evidence.

    In such a case wouldn’t the doctor be ethically bound to promote the magic box anyway?

    No way—he’s ethically bound NOT to promote the magic box until he has evidence it really works. This thing costs $1495–a lot of money to most people.

  • ElVer

    Where can I buy one of these detox machines for the 1495.00? Sounds like a machine
    I would like to have.

  • Ann Schnurr

    As a physical educator and a health educator, retired for 10 years, I knew that if a member of my class told me about this I would immediately say, don’t spend your money for a “quack box”. I also received the email and having health issues it sounded really neat. but all the disclaimers!!! That has to tell you something! And wouldn’t it be ever so neat if there was a BOX that would zap all of our internal physical problems! I was torn; I could spend the money; I could ask my oncologist to look at the information (thank heavens I did not, as she would probably send me to a “shrink”,) but then I figured that there would be more info on the internet and I am so thankful for your site. You saved me from looking like I was subcombing to the studpidity of a scam. I wish there was some way to stop them. Thank you for your site. Also, the site I was on offered the “BOX” for $1795, a $200 discount!

  • Mike

    I just want to point out that Julie is right. None of you have tryed the machine and yet you all claim it doesn’t work. Well since you seem to be the types to demand proof, where is yours? Why are you all certain that this is a scam? I don’t believe this machine works because I have no proof and that would be foolish. But I don’t believe it’s a scam either for the very same reason.

    The total profits of the 10 drug companies in the Fortune 500 were more than the profits of the other 490 businesses combined. Do you not think it possible that these corporations would try and protect their interests? After all, corporations are not people, and have no ethics or conscience.

    Rife on the other hand was a person, and there is evidence (admittedly not proof) that his machines did work. http://www.rifeenergymedicine.com/appbh.html

    It’s never a good idea to trust anyone who will benifit finacially from lying to you, this includes http://www.2detoxify.com but also includes your doctor and the AMA.

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Well since you seem to be the types to demand proof, where is yours? Why are you all certain that this is a scam?

    Read the OP. It describes quite a few ways that this box supposedly violates the laws of nature/science.

  • Mike

    Which laws of science? It was once a law of nature that the sun revolved around the earth. That was was broken. Once it was indisputable fact the earth was flat.

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Really? It was a “law” that the sun revolved around the Earth? You might want to double check that. Same with the Earth being flat.

    And, again I’ll refer you to the OP. Did you read it? Did you not notice that the box claims to be doing nuclear fission?

  • Joffan

    The science we use now, Mike, produces things like satellite communications, MRI scanners, cell phones, and antiviral medicine. And real nuclear fission.

    It works.

    The beliefs you’re talking about didn’t.

  • Mike

    Fine, you’re still all claiming the machine doesn’t work out of popular opinion and not science because you haven’t tested it. The one person on this forum who has used it has a different opinion and it is being unfairly ridiculed.

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    Fine, you’re still all claiming the machine doesn’t work out of popular opinion and not science because you haven’t tested it.

    This is beyond ridiculous. Do I really need to physically test this box in order to know that it is incapable of nuclear fission? It is simply not possible for this box to do what it claims, at least not with the current state of technology. If the makers of the box really could do the things they claim, then they should go and collect their Nobel prizes in physics post haste.

    The one person on this forum who has used it has a different opinion and it is being unfairly ridiculed.

    This shows that you haven’t read the comments in full, or are simply making things up. The commenters here treated here with courtesy and pointed out known factors, like the Placebo effect. Subscribe to pseudo science if you want to, but don’t put your problems back on us.

  • Mike

    Noone (except you) has claimed the box is capable of nuclear fission OMGF and I am well aware of the scientific priniciple behind these devices. They are based on resonate frequencies, which every living organism has, and when the resonate frequency of say a particular virus is amplified and directed at the virus it destroys it. This is not based on pseudo science it is based on real science. There are scores of people that claim these machines have CURED their cancer and yet web sites with these testimonials are being shut down by the government. So much for freedom of speech.

  • Mike

    If you want evidence that this technology has been surpressed by the AMA and the FDA try this site http://www.rife.de/rife_and_cancer.html It’s a whole website dedicated to continuing the research of Dr. Rife. The only thing they are selling as far as I can see, is truth.

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com OMGF

    Mike, it’s poor form to not even read the OP before commenting. How do I know that you didn’t read it? Because I refered you to it, and in it Ebon states why nuclear fission would be necessary based on the claims of the box’s makers. Next time be more careful before coming to peddle something.

    If you want to talk about resonance frequencies, you could look at lpetrich’s comment from way back on Oct. 15. Oops again for you…you should have actually read the comments.

    You obviously haven’t read what has been written. You have no proof that anyone has been healed by these machines, and they do actually violate scientific principles/laws. Stop trying to peddle your nonsense.

  • NightShadeQueen

    I tried to check out Mike’s website, but my eyes glazed over by the third paragraph. I did catch some drift about a microbial cause of cancer. Which, by the way, is (mostly) BS.

    Yes, some long-term diseases can cause cancer (HPV comes to mind), but it’s usually not the microbe itself that causes cancer. Rather, the damage to cells increases the amount of replacement cells that must be made, increasing the number of cellular divisions. Each division is a chance for the DNA to be mis-copied. Too many mis-copies, and what you have is cancer. But the basic cause of cancer is, and has always been, a screw-up in the cellular-division-monitoring-process. (I think my source is somewhere within this SciAm article)

    Also, there’s a claim that electron scanning microscopes destroy the specimen. Well, these pollen grains don’t look destroyed, and neither did the excellent picture of eye cones and rods in my Science Year by Year book.

    Finally, I think even Wikipedia would be a better source that a website with http://www.rife.de as its domain name. Looks like somebody died from this machine.

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    Mike, I read that page you mentioned, and it’s nothing but a series of assertions regarding Rife’s theories that cancer is caused by microbes. It provides no support for the claim that his invention is useful for curing it or that it has been unfairly suppressed by the FDA. What is your evidence that this device works for curing any disease or for any other purpose?

  • Mike

    I have no evidence that this machine works and you have none that it doesn’t.

    *Sigh* at OMFG I did read the OP… and like you said its Ebon who is claiming that the box requires nuclear fission to work not the makers of the box. Your attacks on me are immature. Please attack the issue and not me.

    There are lots of eye witness accounts to Rife curing peoples cancers with this machine you just have to look it up. The fact that for every one of these websites you find one calling him a con-man or trying to discredit him isn’t surprising. Like I said in a previous post the government had the drug companies would allow a cure for a deasese that makes them so much money. I

    It’s not the only time this has happened, watch A World Without Cancer http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4312930190281243507
    It’s a fact the Hunza people have never had a case of cancer on their traditional diet, neither have the Eskimos on theirs. There is a scare campain going on trying to tell people that Amygdalin (contained within the Apricot seeds that the Hunza people eat and the Elk the the Eskimos eat) is poisonous. Try telling that to the Hunza people who regulary live past 100 and don’t get cancer. I eat apricot seeds and I haven’t died from it yet.

  • Mrnaglfar

    Mike,

    I have no evidence that this machine works and you have none that it doesn’t.

    If you have no evidence it works then we all may as well assume it doesn’t, especially since it’s claiming to operate on principles that simply make no logical sense (like shattering a virus with a frequency that this machine is supposed to increase somehow). If it does work, it should have not problem passing double-blind testing on large samples and operating well above the placebo effect consistently.

    Besides, would you pay $1500 (in lieu of other, tested, real treatments) for a product for which there is no available evidence of it working? If so, you’re getting ripped off; for half that price I can actually use my psychic powers to telekentically increase all those nasty ‘toxin’ frequencies and you won’t even have to leave your home. I know, you’ll say I don’t have any evidence that I can do what I claim, but you don’t have any evidence I don’t.

    There are lots of eye witness accounts to Rife curing peoples cancers with this machine you just have to look it up.

    Eye-witness accounts of him curing cancer; did people actually watched tumors shrink before their eyes when using this machine? Did cancer patients on their death bed suddenly make full recoveries and walk out of their hospital, or was it the wave of sound produced from all those unnamed toxins exploding? You’d think such a thing would become an overnight sensation if it actually worked.
    There are people willing to claim they are psychics who can talk to pets too, and for every website of someone saying that it works, others are calling them hacks without evidence.

    I’ve been trying to look up more information on the Hunza, but what I find is remarkably scattered. Long lifespan, plenty of physical excerise, postive outlooks on life, and seemingly good diet. The claims of their lifespan seem exaggerated (though still long), as most sites are claiming they can live up to 140 years, despite the oldest living person being documented at 122. If you want to make the point that our diet is pretty shitty overall, you’ll hear no argument from me, likewise if you point out that people are becoming less active and generally living unhealthy lifestyles you’ll hear no gainsay. I also read an interesting article lately about how certain parasites seem to have co-evolved with our bodies’ immune system and help to regulate our immune system; certainly a part of the picture.

    I also fail to understand what any of that has to do with the detox box.

  • Mrnaglfar

    And you might also want to read the fine print:
    “This information is not to be considered advice or a substitute for current medical treatment. It is intended to help you make positive informed decisions about your health. We make no claims whatsoever expressed or implied of any cure or for any disease. Dr. Rife’s original research has not yet been confirmed by research generally recognized by medical science. The Detox Box is for experimental use only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration; not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Detoxification benefits are recommended based upon traditional uses and are not yet generally recognized as substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence. Devices and nutritional or other products are not offered to diagnose or prescribe for medical or psychological conditions nor to claim to prevent, treat, mitigate or cure such conditions, nor to recommend specific products as treatment of disease or to provide diagnosis, care, treatment or rehabilitation of individuals, or apply medical, mental health or human development principles, to provide diagnosing, treating, operating or prescribing for any human disease, pain, injury, deformity or physical condition. Any use of the devices is experimental and based upon your informed consent and private license. Testimonial results are not typical and your results may vary. The information on this site is not a substitute for medical advice from your primary care physician.”

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com/ OMGF

    I have no evidence that this machine works and you have none that it doesn’t.

    Actually, we do have evidence it doesn’t work, based on the claims of the makers of the box. We have tons of evidence that the things they say the box does can’t happen.

    *Sigh* at OMFG I did read the OP… and like you said its Ebon who is claiming that the box requires nuclear fission to work not the makers of the box.

    Um, if they are claiming that they can break apart elements, then they are claiming nuclear fission. Simply because they don’t use those words doesn’t mean that they aren’t making the claim. If they are too stupid to realize what they are claiming, it’s not my fault or Ebon’s, but their’s.

    Your attacks on me are immature. Please attack the issue and not me.

    Ah, so pointing out your weak arguments (and why they are weak) and the fact that your arguments have been dealt with constitutes an immature attack on you? If you can’t handle the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

  • Mike

    MY ONLY POINT IS THAT YES I HAVE WEAK ARGUMENTS BUT THAT YOU HAVE NONE.

  • http://whyihatejesus.blogspot.com OMGF

    None? Really? C’mon, that’s just simply not true. The makers claim they can do things that they simply can’t, as backed by mountains of evidence. This is actually a rather strong piece of evidence.

    Additionally, should we hold out the possibility of anything if we don’t have counter-evidence? As Mrnaglfar pointed out, he has psychic powers. You have no evidence that he doesn’t have psychic powers, so I guess you should believe that maybe he does.

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    I have no evidence that this machine works…

    And that’s really all that needs to be said. You have no evidence that this device works. So why are you defending it? Because it might work? You could say that about absolutely any treatment, as Mrnaglfar pointed out.

    What you don’t seem to recognize is that the burden of proof is always on the person who makes the positive assertion – the one who claims that their invention does something, that it works for the purpose it was intended for. If Rife and his cronies don’t have that evidence, it is unethical and irresponsible for them to be marketing this machine. They’d be taking people’s money – and possibly persuading them to abandon conventional medical treatment, as the OP mentioned – without any evidence that they’re benefiting those people. You would certainly not let the drug companies off so lightly if they marketed a pill for which they hadn’t done any studies of effectiveness or safety.

    Like I said in a previous post the government had the drug companies would allow a cure for a deasese that makes them so much money.

    Derek Lowe, a pharmaceutical researcher, has a devastating reply to this conspiracy idiocy:

    It’s not very far to the conspiracy theories that pop up about cancer, about HIV, about every awful disease you can imagine. “You know,” some fool will whisper to you, “that the drug companies really have a cure for it. They’re just waiting until more people get sick. In fact, they’re probably making sure that as many people get it as possible.”

    It’s difficult for me to express coherently my contempt for that idea. Let me assure you that employees of pharmaceutical companies, and their relatives, and their friends, are potential heirs to every disease that this world offers, just like everyone else. I might add that it’s particularly hard to watch someone you know suffer and die from a disease that you’ve been working for years to treat, but still have nothing to offer for.

  • Joffan

    Another reply to the conspiracy theory is economics. No emotion in this one, but then according to the conspiracists these companies don’t have any.

    Suppose “Big Pharma” has a cure to a fatal disease that affects one in a thousand of the population, that they are holding back. Now the same number of people will be getting sick from this each year, and an equal number dying. So the potential market is not changing. Meanwhile the money that could have been earned last year has not been earned, and it is a fundamental rule of value that early money is worth more than late money. So – if there were such a cure – the accountants would force it onto the market. There is no advantage to “Big Pharma” to delay it.

  • Tom

    In addition to a simple placebo effect, I’d suggest an element of investment-fuelled denial, both emotional and financial, occurs in cases such as this. When you’ve paid several hundred bucks for a box of blinkenlights that doesn’t give any obvious, immediate or statistically valid proof of its efficacy, and staked your reputation as a rational thinker by showing you believe it could work, you’ll probably do anything to try and convince yourself that you haven’t been suckered, which will probably lead to desperately applying confirmation bias to normal background fluctuations in your health. Get a headache, use machine, machine does nothing, headache gets better on its own, as all headaches eventually do = assume the machine did it. This is why education in statistics, particularly those used for scientific testing, is so very important.

  • Buck Ofama

    I know a guy who worships the rife “machine”. He claims it healed him of Lyme… but *after* he had taken the usual course of antibiotics for some long period. Brilliant. He also believes that the box cures cancer. Of course, “the AMA” doesn’t want the public to know this, because “they just want the money”, blah, blah, blah, shut the fvck up.

    I knew another guy who was “cured” of colon cancer by a “miracle vitamin”… only after the usual routine of radiation and chemo “didn’t help”. Of course, the vitamin had to be the CURE, but “the AMA and the old time doctors don’t want the public to know”.

  • Buck Ofama

    !ACHTUNG! ALLEZT DUMKOFEN LOOKENS MIT DER PEEPERZ!!

    DER VUNDER-MACHINE GERVERKEN IZT NICTH FER DER FINGERPOKEN UNT HAMERBANGINZ! DER MACHINE IS NICHT OPERATIN MIT DI SCHWEINDHUNDE!!

    ALLEZT DUMKOFEN YUST RELAXEN UNT VATCH DER BLINKENLITZ!!


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